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November 10, 1994 - Image 8

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-11-10

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Football
vs. Minnesota
Saturday, 1 p.m.
Michigan Stadium

SPORTS

Men's Swimming
vs. Wisconsin'
Saturday, 10 a.m.
Canham Natatorium

"

Gophers give it their best shot
Minnesota shows effort despite dwelling in cellar

By CHAD A. SAFRAN
Daily Football Writer
One philosophy tends to dominate
major football programs -- winning.
Teams will do anything to gain an
advantage on their competitors. Just
ask Auburn, Texas A&M and Wash-
ington how important victories are -
their illegal activities resulted in
NCAA probation and a ban from
postseason games.
Every coach wants to win. But
some have different ideas on the par-
tic ular focus their squads should have.
Jim Wacker, Minnesota's coach, is
one of these.
He would like his Golden Go-
phers to have three more wins right
now. But Minnesota's poor play has
not inspired Wacker to think about
jumping off the top of the Metrodome
just yet.
He is definitely not a man who
follows the ways of Vince "Winning
isn't everything, it's the only thing"
Lombardi or Al "Just win, baby"
Davis. Wacker sounds more like a
commercial for the U.S. Army.
'The only thing I care about is

giving your best," Wacker said. "If
you don't believe that, then the hell
with you. Don't make winning the
end-all. Winning is not everything."
Wacker has plenty of examples
when it comes to effort over triumphs.
One of those examples is John
Wooden. The legendary coach won
10 national titles in 12 years while
running the UCLA basketball pro-
gram.
Another role model Wacker says
he likes to follow is Buffalo Bills'
coach Mary Levy.
"He's gone to four straight Super
Bowls. No other coach has ever done
that," Wacker said. "And what does
he think about winning? He says that's
crap."~
It's not surprising Wacker uses
the do-your-best approach in coach-
ing the Gophers. Since arriving in
Minneapolis in 1992, Wacker has a 9-
22 record. But that doesn't mean his
squad hasn't tried in 1994.
In its last four losses, Minnesota
outgained its opponent in total of-
fense. The latest disappointment came
Saturday, when the Gophers fell to

Illinois. The Gophers held a 17-6 lead
entering the fourth quarter but surren-
dered 15 final-period points which
led to the Fighting Illini win. Illinois
tailback Ty Douthard scored from
two yards out with 1: 10 remaining to
seal the victory for the Illini.
"I've never seen more heartbreak
in a locker room after a game and I've
been in the game 35 years," Wacker
said.
It was not the first time Wacker
needed to console his team after an
Illinois game. Last season, the Illini
scored with 12 seconds left, stealing a
23-20 victory from the Gophers.
As always though, Wacker main-
tains an optimistic attitude.
"We will bounce back and play
good football in our final two games.
I have no doubt about that," he said.
"We have gone through this before."
The Gophers certainly have. After
last year's Illinois loss, Minnesota
got thumped, 5 8-7, by Michigan. The
week after that, the Gophers fell to
Iowa, 21-3. Those are Minnesota's
season-ending opponents in 1994 as
well.

01

Flanker.Johnny Woodson and the Gophers will try to regain their grip on the season Saturday against Michigan.

Darkins provides
By JOE CHRISTENSEN junior running
The Minnesota Daily ways played
Chris Darkins knew the odds were never started p
against him long before he became a I never givec
Gopher football co-captain and the things will go
featured back in the team's offense. got on the ball
He was a black candidate for stu- And won..J
dent body president at Strake Jesuit football team
College Prep, a Houston high school Darkins, v
that was 97 percent white. nation in rush
"The seniors from the year before playing footb
didn't want to let me be president Strake Jesuit.
because I was black," he said. "And That's rigl;
they probably knew I was going to Before the;
win because I was popular. So they couldn't convy
were trying to make all kinds of ex- ticing soccer,
cuses to keep me out. Meanwhil(
"The first thing was I didn't regis- ball team strut
ter early enough to get on the ballot. gether five str;
Then they said my grades weren't Once Dark
good enough, which had never been a junior year, S
criterion before. I had to go to the top games. His sei
administration just to get my name on And the pa
the ballot." Minnesota. C4
Darkins won the election and be- Darkins, one4
came president. cruits, adopted
It's no wonder he believes Minne- 9 in 1991.
sota will turn its football program The Goldc
around. Darkins' fresh
"That's the story of my life,." the they improved

hope for Minnesota

xg back said "I've al-
for the underdog. I've
playing for the top team.
up, because eventually
a you way. Eventually I
lot.
Just like his high school
did once he arrived.
who ranks ninth in the
Zing this season, started
ball his junior year at
fjust five years ago.
-n, the football coaches
vince him to stop prac-
his favorite sport.
l, Strake Jesuit's foot-
zggled. They strung to-
raight two-win seasons.
kins joined the team his
Strake Jesuit won five
:nior year it won seven.
Wttern has continued at
roach Jim Wacker and
of his first Gopher re-
d a program that went 7-
ln Gophers went 2-9
hman year. Last season
dIto 4-7.

"Coach Wacker always says we
have an opportunity to do something
here that no one else thinks you can do
,Darkins said.
Wacker originally convinced
Darkins join his program at Texas
Christian. The 6-foot running back
went to Minnesota when Wacker
changed jobs.
Though he rushed for 1,300 yards
and won four straight titles in track
his senior year, other recruiters
weren't exactly beating down
Darkins' door. He wasn't even listed
with the top 100 recruits out of Texas.
"I had grade problems," he said.
He carried a 2.4 GPA and scored a
980 on his SAT, but he only had a
1.98 in his core classes.
"My study habits were bad," he
said. "We had three to four hours of
homework every single night. I got
mostly Cs my freshman and sopho-
more years. And then I realized I had
to get my grades up. I got all B's my
junior year and finally got my first A
at the end of my senior year. That A
really helped me in college."
Darkins is now a pre-business
major. He interned with Dain
Bosworth, Inc. this summer and al-
ready has an offer for an internship
with another company next summer.
And though the local media has
predicted he could be a first-round
NFL draft pick next year, Darkins
See DARKINS, page 10

Questions abound
in conference race

By JAMES GOLDSTEIN
For the Daily
Will Illinois be a thorn in the sides
of the rose-bound Nittany Lions? Will
Indiana scare another of the Big Ten's
elite? Will Michigan State players
put in an emotional effort for their
soon-to-be ex-coach? And why is Wis-
consin playing the Cincinnati Bearcats
in football?
These are just a few of the telling
questions concerning the conference
games this Saturday that could distin-
guish the bowl-bound from the bowl-
less.
In just its second year in the con-
ference, Penn State is just about guar-
anteed to be heading to the Rose Bowl.
The real divisional dogfight is the
race for the number two conference
spot. Michigan, Ohio State and Illi-
nois are all vying for a chance to play
in the Citrus Bowl.
Penn State (5-0 Big Ten, 8-0
overall) at Illinois (4-2, 6-3)
Happy Valley? Not quite.
Ranked No. 2 nationally, the Li-
ons aren't excited. No matter what

coach Joe Paterno says, Penn State is
hurting.
After giving up a last-second Hail
Mary to Indiana last weekend, the
Lions fell a spot in the polls. Al-
though they won, 35-29, the bomb
cost them the top spot in the nation.
But watch out Illinois, because
now the Lions are roaring!
However, Penn State has not faced
a dominant defense all year.
Nittany Lions, welcome to
Champaign.
Introducing the Illinois defense,
which is ranked No. 4 in total defense
in the conference. With the
linebacking corps led by Dana Howard
and Simeon Rice, the Illini will fur-
nish a serious threat to the frighten-
ingly efficient Penn State offense.
Rice leads the nation in sacks (16)
and tackles for losses (19). Howard is
on top of the Big Ten with 112 tack-
les, complementing the talents of Rice.
The big question is whether Rice
and Howard can plug up the holes made
for last week's Big Ten Offensive Player
of The Week and Heisman hopeful Ki-
Jana Carter. Carter amassed a total of
192 yards against Indiana, and tied his
career-high with an 80-yard TD run in
the fourth quarter.
Just as important is whether the
Iflilni defense can put enough pressure
on Penn State quarterback Kerry Collins

to disrupt his rhythm. Collins, ranked
No. 1 nationally in passing efficiency
(182.94), will pick apart the Illini if they
don't get to him.
The key lies with the Penn State
offensive line. If it gives Collins
enough time to throw, and opens up
holes for Carter, Illinois has no shot.
Penn State 24, Illinois 10.
Ohio State (4-2, 7-3) at Indiana
(2-4, 5-4)
Can Indiana throw another Hail
Mary, but winy this time?
If the Hoosiers play the way they
did in the fourth quarter of their loss
to Penn State, they have a chance to
upset the up-and-down Buckeyes in
Bloomington.
Talk about inconsistency. Two
weeks ago, Ohio State was
steamurolled by Penn State, 63-14. Last
week, though, the Buckeyes defeated
Wisconsin, 24-3. As a result, Ohio
State has fortified its position as one
of the contenders for a possible Citrus
Bowl bid.
The Buckeyes have a rather bal-
anced offensive attack. Tailback Eddie
George leads the Big Ten in rushing
with 1164 yards on 208 attempts. He
is the key to Ohio State's offense, but
if the Hoosiers stop him, they still
have to contain the tandem of quarter
See BIG TEN, Page 10

,. ,.., a J ..... . J ........ d....

- - -r - _-

The UDnivesity of Michigan
Business D Finance Diversity Committee
SCultural Dvriy
.featuring:
Dr. Edwin Nichols
Aintunaliouaiku own lipwiul turalDivmity
Wednesday, November 16, 1994
7.00 - 9:00 PMl
Locatth PatoCnter "Schol f Rudlmanm~t~
Corner of Tapan aHill Street

41

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